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UK's choice is 'hard Brexit' or 'no Brexit', says Tusk

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UK's choice is 'hard Brexit' or 'no Brexit', says Tusk

Donald Tusk - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - The only real alternative to a 'hard Brexit' is 'no Brexit', EU President Donald Tusk warned Britons in a speech at the European Policy Centre for its 20th anniversary conference in Brussels.

At the conference on the future of Europe, Mr Tusk said that when it comes to negotiations over Brexit, the situation was clear. The EU would be sticking to a framework set out by the European Council, and would follow guidelines set out in the Treaty. The EU would have to stick unconditionally to the rules of the Treaty and to the fundamental values of the EU, he said.

"Our task will be to protect the interests of the EU as a whole and the interests of each of the 27 member states.

Mr Tusk said he could offer no compromises, particularly when it came to the conditions for access to the single market with all four freedoms.

The essence of Brexit, he said, was largely defined in the UK during the referendum campaign.

"We all remember the promises, which cumulated in the demand to "take back control". Namely the "liberation" from European jurisdiction, a "no" to the freedom of movement or further contributions to the EU budget.

There were definitive consequences to this approach, he said, for the UK government's position, and for the process of negotiations. "Regardless of magic spells, this means a de facto will to radically loosen relations with the EU, something that goes by the name of 'hard Brexit'.

'Hard Brexit' would, he said, be a painful experience for Britons, and it was "pure illusion" that one could have the EU cake and eat it too.

"The brutal truth is that Brexit will be a loss for all of us. There will be no cakes on the table. For anyone. There will be only salt and vinegar."

However, there was an alternative, he added, and it was not 'soft Brexit'.

"In my opinion, the only real alternative to a "hard Brexit" is "no Brexit". Even if today hardly anyone believes in such a possibility.

Mr Tusk promised to "conduct the negotiations in good faith, defend the interests of the EU 27, minimise the costs and seek the best possible deal for all.

"But as I have said before, I am afraid that no such outcome exists that will benefit either side. Of course it is and can only be for the UK to assess the outcome of the negotiations and determine if Brexit is really in their interest. Paraphrasing Hannah Arendt's words: "a full understanding of all the consequences of the political process is the only way to reverse the irreversible flow of history".

Full text of speech

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UK's choice

Posted by Demir Arabaci at 15 October 2016, 19:23 CET

Soft or hard get used to it mr. Tusk.
EU royally screwed up by it's MEPs living in a daydream like all politicians drunk on sudden exposure to the limelights like a bunch of ignorant micks strutting their gowns in a hollywood movie's opening day.
You can exploit the tax payers for so long before they kick your butt. Soft or hard.